What to Do if You See a Cockroach in Port St. Lucie
August 04, 2023
As Floridians, we've all been there - that heart-pounding moment when you spot a creepy crawly creature scurrying across the floor or along the wall. Everyone I know has at least one story about flicking on a light in their kitchen or bathroom, only to see a roach quickly dart out of sight.
American cockroaches - also known as palmetto bugs - are common cockroaches in Port St. Lucie. These unwelcome guests have a knack for invading our homes and businesses, leaving us feeling helpless.
If you've recently spotted an American cockroach in your home, you may be wondering what you should do next. In this blog post, we'll help you understand what attracts American cockroaches to Port St. Lucie and learn how to get rid of them naturally.
Do American Cockroaches Fly?
There's a common misconception that all cockroaches can fly. While many species do have wings, most of them aren't able to properly use them. American cockroaches are an exception.
If the roach you see takes flight for a few moments, it's probably an American cockroach. While they're capable of flying, they're not particularly good at it, so they don't stay in the air for long. Like other roach species, American roaches prefer to use their six legs to move rather than their wings.
What Attracts American Cockroaches?
The best way to keep pests under control is prevention. Part of learning how to prevent American cockroaches from entering your home includes learning why they're entering your home.
Things that Attract American Cockroaches
- Food: American cockroaches will feast on practically anything, from leftover crumbs to decaying organic matter. Keep your kitchen tidy and your lawn free from debris such as piles of leaves and mulch to minimize their buffet options.
- Water: Just like us, cockroaches need water to survive. Leaky pipes, dripping faucets, and even pet water bowls can provide a water source for these thirsty pests.
- Shelter: Dark, damp, and cozy spaces are cockroaches' preferred hideouts. That's why they tend to nest in basements, attics, crawl spaces, and cluttered areas.
- Warmth: Port St. Lucie's sub-tropical climate is perfect for American cockroaches. They thrive in warm temperatures and seek shelter indoors during colder months.
If you keep these factors in mind and try to limit attractants, American roaches will be less likely to seek out your home. However, minimizing conducive conditions won't guarantee that you won't see a roach in your home, but there are further steps you can take to keep American roaches out of your home.
How to Get Rid of American Cockroaches Naturally
Now that you know how to remove things that attract roaches, it's time to talk about natural and effective ways to get rid of American roaches and prevent them from returning.
Cleanliness is Key
We've said it before and we'll say it again: maintaining a clean and clutter-free environment is one of the best ways to prevent American cockroaches. Regularly sweep and mop floors, wipe down countertops, and clean up any spills properly. Doing so removes not only food sources but also potential nest areas, making your space less inviting for these pests.
Seal Entry Points
Cockroaches have a talent for squeezing through tiny gaps and cracks. They can flatten their bodies to an incredible three millimeters - that's just the size of two U.S. pennies stacked together!
With this in mind, it's important to seal up any openings in and around doors, windows, and walls. While you're at it, don't forget to check for gaps around utility pipes - American roaches are especially known for getting into homes through faulty plumbing.
Diatomaceous earth is a natural powder made from fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms. It's harmless to humans and pets, but acts as a lethal barrier for cockroaches. The tiny particles stick to their bodies, dehydrating them and eventually causing their demise.
If you're considering using diatomaceous earth, keep in mind that one downside is that it needs to stay dry in order to be effective. This can be difficult in Port St. Lucie's rainy environment.
Boric acid is another natural remedy that's effective against cockroaches. Create a bait by combining boric acid with sweet substances like powdered sugar or syrup. When the roaches eat the bait, the boric acid interferes with their digestive system, leading to their demise.
However, keep in mind that boric acid is potentially harmful to pets and small children. Make sure to place any boric acid baits in spots that are safely out of the way.
Certain essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, and lavender have strong scents that repel cockroaches. Create a DIY spray by mixing a few drops of these oils with water and spraying it in areas prone to infestations.
If you have pets, make sure to double-check any essential oils before using them. Some oils like tea tree oil are toxic to pets, so you may want to exercise caution when it comes to this method.
Did you know bay leaves can deter American roaches? This herb won't kill the pests, but it'll produce a scent that cockroaches find irritating.
Place bay leaves in cabinets, pantry shelves, and other potential hotspots to keep the roaches at bay. Make sure to place them out of the reach of any curious pets, though!
American Cockroach vs. German Cockroach
Let's clear up another common cockroach conundrum: the difference between American and German cockroaches. Both species are widespread in Port St. Lucie, and both make my skin crawl. However, the two are very different species that require different control and prevention methods, so it's important to be able to tell the difference between the two.
Differences Between American and German Cockroaches:
- Size: The easiest way to distinguish between American and German roaches is by size. American cockroaches are larger, measuring 4 cm in length on average. German roaches, on the other hand, don't get much longer than 1.5 cm.
- Color: American cockroaches are typically reddish-brown in color with a yellowish figure-eight pattern on their heads. German cockroaches are usually light brown with two dark parallel stripes running down their backs.
Dealing with American cockroaches is a challenge, but armed with the right knowledge and a few natural remedies, you can show these unwanted guests the door. Remember, maintaining a clean and organized space is the first line of defense against American roaches.
If the infestation persists, don't hesitate to reach out to a professional pest control company in Port St. Lucie. Our roach control experts at Native Pest Management use eco-friendly and pet friendly treatments that are highly effective against American roaches. We work hard to eliminate roaches at the source, as well as create a protective barrier around your home to prevent them from returning.
Reach out to us today for a free quote!